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There are so many different emotions that we have experienced during this whole process so far. Excitement, stress, anticipation, joy, frustration, peace, fear, love…the list could go on. One emotion, however, that we have felt time and time again is thankfulness.

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You will hear a lot more specifically about who and what we are thankful for as the weeks come, but we just wanted to stop now before things get super crazy and just be honest for a minute. I don’t think any of us could have pictured what the response would look like that we have received from everyone. We have time and time again been overwhelmed with the words, encouragement, donations, texts, phone calls, likes on Instagram, shares on Facebook, emails and this list could continue too. We just want you to know that those things don’t go unnoticed and to be quite frank…they are needed. We need each of those things as we move forward and we are so thankful that when we announced to everyone what we were doing, that we didn’t hear crickets. Instead, we heard people cheering us on and that means the world!

When we decided to pursue The Mix House, it wasn’t because we wanted to get rich quick or make it big. To be honest, we hope those never happen. We decided to pursue The Mix House because we wanted to create a community. A place where people can feel at home. Where people can feel comfortable. A place where people can experience God. We wanted to create a community that encourages and uplifts, one that doesn’t tear each other down. It’s more than just coffee and sweet treats to us (but we do love those two things!). And in some ways, we feel like we are already doing just that!

Thank you, for being there for us. Thank you for joining in and supporting us. Thank you for becoming a part of our community. Thank you for telling your friends about us and for backing us on Kickstarter. Can we just talk about something really quick?? We’ve raised almost $5,000 in just a few short weeks. Whether we hit our goal or not…that’s amazing! We are SO THANKFUL for those who have given. No matter what happens over these next 6 days, we just want people to know that we are thankful. We are thankful for each and every one of you. And we are thankful to the Lord for all that He is going to do through this crazy little dream.

Now, let’s make this happen! We’ve got less than a week and $5,000 more to go! We’re thankful, but still determined! We’re not giving up and you shouldn’t either! Join in now and help us see this come to life! We can do this! Back us on Kickstarter here!

Mix on, Mixers!

There are so many reasons why that title is so true. Farmers are some of the hardest working people I know and there are so many reasons why I admire them. If anyone needs a cup (or two) of coffee in the morning, it’s the people who get up the earliest and work the longest. The ones who make sure we have food in our fridge. It’s the farmers who need coffee. But, it’s also the farmers who give us coffee.

In May of 2013 I had the incredible opportunity to visit my friend Kylie who was living in Granada, Nicaragua at the time. In the short week I was there we visited some of most incredible places I had ever seen. But, my favorite of all was our visit to Cafe Las Flores,  a coffee farm that sits atop of Mombacho Volcano.

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Welcome to Mombacho Volcano

 

It was quite a journey to get there; we took the public bus (which is an adventure to say the least) and then hiked..yes, HIKED up to the top of a VOLCANO. And when I say the top what I really mean is half way up, but it felt like the top to this out-of-shape, asthmatic, dying girl! I would die a little more inside everytime one of the tour trolley’s would drive by us, carrying a group of people to the top. Kylie would hike circles around me, smiling and encouraging me, as I crawled my way up the volcano, puffing my inhaler every step. Finally, we hitchhiked the last little bit up and made it to the farm.  Once we reached the farm however, it quickly became obvious that it was all worth it!

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Kylie and I having just reached the farm! It was hot!

We had made it just in time for the last tour and were able to see all different parts of the process of producing this coffee. While the coffee was not in season, we still got to see a glimpse of how things worked. From planting the seed, to tending the plant, to picking the cherries by hand, to then sorting the cherries, cleaning them, laying them out to dry in the sun, and then turning them with a rake after several weeks of drying. That’s just the beginning of the process. After that they are hulled, graded, bagged, sent to a roastery, roasted, and then packaged for you to purchase in a store. It’s certainly not an easy or quick process. Much of the process in these farms are done by hand and in very traditional methods. It was humbling to see how much work goes into one cup of coffee.

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Looking out on the large patio where the beans are dried and raked.

 

I remember leaving there (in a truck and not hiking, thank God!) thinking how hard these people work for such a simple product. So much time, energy, and labor goes into something as simple as a tiny bean. A tiny bean that we LOVE! It made me fall in love with the idea of producing an incredible cup of coffee even more. It made me realize how much of an injustice it is to these farmers to take what they have labored over for so long and not properly prepare it and serve it with excellence. It fueled my desire to produce great community, over great coffee and I am excited to see The Mix House do just that!

If you know a farmer, be sure to thank them for all of their hard work for others! Maybe even buy them a cup of coffee!

You can be a part of The Mix House bringing full circle the hard work these farmer’s put in by backing us on Kickstarter. Watch the video and consider being a Mixer today!

 

how we metWhile many of you know we are a family business, what you may not know is how we all met. There are several last names floating around and it can be a bit confusing at times, so we thought we would help you connect the dots. Let’s start first with the sisters.

Katie and Jessica grew up in Sparta, VA. They come from a large family (the Beale family) and while they are close in age, they were never close as sisters. That is until they both ventured off after high school to Scottsville, VA. They journeyed out to be a part of an internship program at Watermarks Camp called The Steward House. It was during this time that their relationship grew from sisters to the best of friends. Jessica spent much of her time there dreaming about the coffee shop and sharing her thoughts with Katie. They knew it would happen one day, but had no idea how the events would unfold.

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Jessica and Katie – Fall 2010

It was also during this time that they would meet Tyler Gibson. Tyler grew up in Scottsville and worked his summers at Watermarks where Katie and Jessica did as well. He would later on go through the same program as them, but it was during the time that they all spent there that the 3 became close! Before they knew it, it was as though they were already family. After Katie’s last summer working at camp, Tyler would soon ask Katie on their first date and well…the rest of that story is for a whole other blog post. As you now know they fell in love and got married this past October and the rest is history!

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/tyler-and-katie-wedding

Tyler and Katie’s Wedding – 10.22.14 Photo by Katelyn James

Then Kelsey enters the scene. Well, actually, she had entered the scene quite some time before. Kelsey (Schultze) started working at the Lake of the Woods Clubhouse where she met the cutest redhead she had ever seen, Brandon Gibson. She and Brandon worked together for quite some time and eventually dated and got married. It just so happens that Brandon has a brother Tyler. Are you putting this together now? Kelsey eventually got into baking and every time Tyler and his soon to be wife Katie came around, Katie would nervously bring up the fact that she loved to bake. Before long they would too feel like sisters and share in the love of baking!

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Tyler, Brandon, and Kelsey Gibson

Not long after Katie and Tyler got married, the four of us got together and started putting our wild ideas and dreams together. And now, here we are! So let’s help you recap this:

Jessica Beale + Katie (Beale) Gibson + Tyler Gibson + Kelsey (Schultze) Gibson = The Mix House

If you want to know more about our story, be sure to watch our Kickstarter video!

Are you a part of a business? How did you meet the people you work with? Let us know in the comments below!

There are a lot of things we are learning during this process of working on our dream jobs while still working at our day jobs. While we still have many things to learn, we thought we would share 4 things we’ve learned so far! Maybe you can relate to some of them!

1. Dream jobs require A LOT of hard work.

I mean…does this one really need much explaining? These things don’t just happen on their own. I think we all knew this going in, but until you are knee deep in permits, inspections, business plans, social media calendars, promo videos, website designs, product research and the list could go on, you don’t really realize just how much work is needed. But we wouldn’t have it any other way!

2. It doesn’t happen overnight.

I think there is a little bit of this idea that when you start chasing your dream, you just have to check things off of a to do list, have a few connections, fill out some paperwork and wahlah!  You are ready to go! But, the truth is, these things take time. We are learning this more and more everyday when things don’t happen as quickly as we like. We are learning to be patient and make the best of every moment.

3. You need a support system.

For each of us this may look a little different. Some of us have spouses at home cheering us on, while others have roommates. All of us have the blessing of family who believe in us and we each have friends who think we’re going to knock it out of the park. The farther we get into this process, the more we are realizing how important it is to surround ourselves with people who believe in us, who are cheering us on, and who pick us up when we fall! Those are the people we keep closest to us.

4. It’s worth it!

It’s not easy, we don’t sleep much, and it can be pretty stressful. But, it’s worth it. If you were to sit down with each of us and have a heart to heart (over coffee of course), we would each probably tell you that there are moments when we feel like maybe we should quit. We would probably tell you that we’re exhausted. We would maybe even tell you that we don’t know what we’re doing. But we would DEFINITELY tell you that it’s worth it! It’s worth sleepless nights, stressful moments, and days of frustration because we know what the goal is! We have a vision to to serve others with the highest quality coffee, food, and environment in order to produce a place of authentic community. And we are chasing that vision and sticking to it!

Have you been chasing your dream job? What have you learned? Tell us in the comments below!

Help us chase our dream job by becoming a backer for our Kickstarter campaign today!

Sometimes when I’m driving down the road, I’ll flip through the stations of the radio until I find something that strikes what I’m in the mood for. I can’t say I’m usually one to willingly turn the radio to the country station, but there is just something about when I cross into the Caroline County line. I find myself changing the station to WFLS and praying some old Kenny Chesney will come on. There’s just something nostalgic about it that takes me back to high school, driving in my beat up Explorer, going to go hang out with friends. It feels welcoming, comfortable, and familiar. It feels like home.

That’s just how we feel about Caroline.

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When we think of Caroline, there are certain things that come to mind: Bowling Green Harvest festivals, Little League baseball games (I can taste those fries now!), Church on Sunday morning in Sparta, and late night drives to the Wendy’s in Carmel Church for a frosty. There are so many other things we could list as to what makes Caroline feel like home, and we’re sure we aren’t the only ones who feel this way.

We want The Mix House to become one of those memories you think of when you think of Caroline. We want you to have memories of starting your mornings with coffee and a pastry from our bright orange trailer. We want you to think of the Saturday mornings you spent at the Farmer’s Market drinking coffee while shopping. We long for the day that we have a shop where you create memories of grabbing a drink after work with a friend or spending your Friday night listening to music or watching a movie with the rest of the community. We want The Mix House to be that little part of Caroline that feels like home.

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As we continue this journey we are excited to see who comes through our drive-thru and eventually in our doors. We are excited to see who becomes a part of the family…Mixers just like us. We can’t thank you enough for the support, excitement, and encouragement you have shown us so far! Thank you for sharing our posts on Facebook, liking our pictures on Instagram, reading our blog posts, and especially funding our Kickstarter! Thank you for bringing The Mix House, home.

Tell us what you love about Caroline! What makes it feel like home to you?

  • Ann - We moved here a month ago from Northern Virginia with some trepidation. We’d lived near DC all our adult lives and the country life seemed so foreign.

    But the more I get out into the community the more at home I feel. I was thrilled to find your site and to spead the news. I’d love a coffee shop just like the one you imagined in your video. But I don’t want to own it. I just want to bring my friends there!

    When you get going, try to carry the Sunday newspapers. I love getting a paper and coffee every weekend. Also live music on weekend mornings would be nice. Are you planning to be a part of the farmers market when it opens in June?

    I have a friend who sells her homemade granola at local markets. LMK if you’d like to contact her for some additional food items.

    Best wishes for your success!ReplyCancel

    • admin - Ann,
      Thanks so much for your feedback and excitement! We’re so glad you’ve discovered our little dream. We love all of your ideas and are taking note!! We are planning to do some farmers markets this spring, so be on the lookout for more info! Again, thanks for your encouragement and for sharing us!!! Hope to meet you soon! -KatieReplyCancel